(ABC NEWS) -- A collection of stunning photographs of a white reindeer in the snow has gone viral after a photographer captured the rare sighting while on a hiking trip in Norway.
Oslo-based photographer Mads Nordsveen, 24, was traveling with friends in Senja, an island in northern Norway, when he came across the reindeer calf in a chance encounter.
“The last day, we got eye on this little reindeer,” Nordsveen told ABC News. “The local Sami people we talked to told us that these white animals are so unique that in Sami tradition they bring happiness. The calf seemed a bit scared at first, but we sat completely quiet and were very calm and eventually it came quite close.”
White reindeers are not albino; instead, they have a genetic mutation that causes their fur to lose its pigment.
Nordsveen, who regularly shares photographs of the Norwegian landscape on his Instagram account, admitted his surprise at finding such a perfect shot.
“Before trips, I do quite a lot of research to find the best locations and views,” he said. “However, you cannot plan magical moments like the reindeer photos.”
The wintry pictures have proved a hit with social media users. The original post has been liked over 25,000 times since it was published on Tuesday.
And Nordsveen is delighted with the positive response.
“I am very pleased with the reaction,” he said. “[They are] some very special photos but I did not think it would blow up worldwide like this!”